enews cover

COVID 19 Rules as at Feb 8th

  • Stay home if you are unwell, been a close contact or visited an exposure site.
  • Check in using ServicesWA App or the paper register
  • Mask are mandatory
  • Proof of vaccination or exemption is mandatory
Hello reader

We hope you have a fabulous break over Easter whether it be felting your fingers off or getting away with the family.

We decided not to hold Toss n Tell this month as it falls on the Easter long weekend and as many of us have plans it seemed an appropriate to skip April. But! We will be back with bells on in May with a fantastic demo by Nancy Ballesteros 9 Ways to Lay Wool. Yes! Nine. Scroll down for full details.
sheep bells
We are very please to announce a much awaited workshop - Exploring Natural Dyes on Silk with the amazing Kat Weka. Think of all the silk you could dye for your Nuno projects. At a day and a half with materials included - snap this up! Scroll down for .. you guessed it full details.

But wait there's more.

Speaking of Nancy we are hosting her Hanky Panky Scarf workshop June 4th & 5th - there are a couple of spots left so jump online and book your spot before they go. Workshops have been selling out all year and to assist those who miss out there is a new Waiting List feature that appears in the event of selling out. Add your name, subscribe, and we will let you know if a place becomes available.
ScreenHunter 267
The next 2 Skill Extension Program workshops are now open for bookings - Prefelt & Batts in May and Solid & Hollow Cords in July with a Beginners in June. These short, sharp, shiny sessions - just 3 hours - have all materials and equipment supplied and get straight to the techniques. They are brilliant for building your skills repertoire.
If you're down south over Easter the Bunbury Felters Exhibition “Tied to the Apron Strings” is running till April 22nd. It showcases their artistic skill in a colourful and creative display using the Matryoshka Doll shape and Australian merino wool to interpret the idiom.

Well worth the trip!

MOT Logo 02
Easter is also the perfect time to read through all of the Exhibition details and start that piece! More links further down.
And just to make sure you have something felty to read over Easter - there is a quick review of Soosie's Raising the Surface workshop and some more archive posts with loads of pictures.

Grab a coffee and get comfortable. There is loads to read.

Have a great weekend.

May Toss n Tell - Nine Ways to Lay Wool

May Toss n Tell - Nine Ways to Lay Wool
Nancy Ballesteros has passionately worked with textiles and colour all her life. She was introduced to spinning, felting and dyeing while at university studying Veterinary science; however, her artistic endeavors quickly took over her life.  In 1987 she hatched a fibre business called Treetops Colour Harmonies where she designs colours which she dyes on wool and silk textiles. She has been creating felt for over 30 years now. Nancy has taught across Australia, Europe and the USA. She was instrumental in developing the technique of Silk ‘Paper’.  She has written about felting in numerous publications and participated in workshops and master classes.

  Any queries, please contact Nancy:
Feltwest is very pleased to have Nancy Ballesteros from Treetops Colour Harmonies this month with her very informative 9 Ways to Lay Wool.

Did you know there are 9 different ways to lay-up wool tops for felting?  Come along to the Feltwest demo/activity and learn how and why there are so many methods?  Nancy will demonstrate each method and explain its use.  Would you like to create felt with more stretch? Interested in creating a particular colour pattern with your multi-coloured wool tops? All will be revealed… You are welcome to stay and have-a-go at laying out some of the methods after the demonstration.

Hanky Panky with Nancy Ballesteros

a workshop with Nancy Ballesteros This 2 day workshop will explore a unique abstract painterly-like method of working with Silk Hankies. Feltmakers first impressions of Silk Hankies are usually one of frustration. Learn how to transform this experience into creative bliss.  Silk Hankies possess unique properties which create gloriously lustrous and textural surfaces when laminated with minimal amounts of superfine …

Read more
Hanky Panky with Nancy Ballesteros

Exploring Natural Dyes on Silk with Kat Weka

Exploring Natural Dyes on Silk with Kat Weka
In this 1.5 day workshop we will explore obtaining colour from plant material and natural dye extracts. This is a hands on workshop with lots of opportunity to experiment. You will learn how to prepare silk for dyeing. How to obtain beautiful colours from ordinary food items in your kitchen.Basic techniques and safety procedures of natural dyeing will be covered …

Read more

Skill Extension - Prefelts & Batts

Learn all about the different stages of a prefelt from a light to firm prefelt and how they all give different results. We will also learn how to make wet, dry and needle felted prefelts. In this experimental workshop we will make sample squares that show how to use prefelts to get sharp or soft edges on your design, to …

Read more
Skill Extension - Prefelts & Batts

Beginners Workshop June 19th

Read more
Beginners Workshop June 19th
Skill Extension - Solid & Hollow Cords

Skill Extension - Solid & Hollow Cords

Join us to explore how to make solid and hollow felt cords, including getting good shrinkage, and some of the fun things that you can do with them including jewellery, puppets and lunar landscapes!

Read more
MOT Logo 02

Marks Over Time

Marks are lines, symbols or figures; deceptively simple yet incredibly complex. Marks have the ability to: record, define, symbolize, correct, confine or instruct. They can even create. Marks are a universal language that evolves and adapts to suit their purpose, ultimately being a tool used by time itself.

Raising the Surface Workshop

by Fleur Riley

Thank you Soosie for your very interesting workshop.
It was lovely to see ladies come all the way from Bunbury to this workshop. I’m sure they went home with their heads going around in circles just imagining what they can now do with their new projects.

Soosie covered many different techniques including “sandwiching” different types of inclusions, from prefelt to fully felted felt, non feltable and many more.
Then there was the “artistic” side of layering up silks, wool and anything you had bought along with you to finish off the samples.

A good time was had by all and we cannot wait to see the finished samples at our next Toss n Tell.


Leiko Uchiyama Review by Virginia Campbell

Sample Making of Pine needle Felting - One Day Workshop

Sunday 22 September (2013) was a typically damp and windy spring day but that didn’t dampen our enthusiasm when we arrived at 9am to set up for our one day workshop. Most of us had already attended Toss n Tell the previous day when we had the opportunity to meet Leiko and to see and listen to her inspiring slide presentation of her diverse felting work and learn of her journey to become an international felting artist and tutor. We had also at Toss n Tell seen some of the work which had been done by fellow FeltWest members at Leiko’s workshop during the previous two days.
Leiko Uchiyama Review by Virginia Campbell
In our workshop we were concerned to make two samples using a technique which Leiko called “ Pine Needle Felting”, and which she had developed after watching pine needles fall onto snow in her native Japan and observing the interesting patterns they made.

To make the first sample we used only very fine merino wool (under 19 micron merino). Leiko showed us numerous examples of her work using this technique, firstly with fine merino wool and then with mixed silk and fine merino wool (comprising 20% – 50% silk). Unfortunately there was insufficient time to use the mix of silk and merino wool at the workshop, but the technique is the same. Our first step was to take fine threads of dry wool from the middle of a handful of roving (cut on both ends, about 20cm long) and place the fine strands firmly in rows on a plastic surface. When one row is completed, you place another row on top of that row but at right angles to the first row. You thus build up a collection of strands of wool of equal thickness and equal length which you are going to use in your piece. These strands are the “pine needles”. While I used only one colour in my sample, I thought the finished pieces where the wool used was of two or more colours or a gradation of one colour, displayed the technique more clearly.

Before laying out, first decide the size and shape of the piece you wish to make, and mark it out on bubble wrap with the bubble side up. Turn the bubble wrap over and commence to lay within the marked shape. Laying out comprises taking a pine needle from your pile, dipping it into soapy water and laying it on the bubble wrap. It is advisable to first make the border of the piece with the pine needles and then lay the pine needles in a random pattern within the border. Laying out is completed when you are satisfied with your pattern, including the size and evenness of the holes which have been created by the random laying of the pine needles. Japanese chopsticks, a knitting needle or fine pair of scissors are handy to push the pine needles into position while you are laying them out.

We rolled the samples up in the bubble wrap around sticks/pvc piping approximately 2 – 3 cm in width and tied the rolls with pieces of elastic to keep the designs firm and secure. If you are making a much larger piece you would use a stick with a wider circumference. When the piece was holding together, the stick was removed and more rolling was done in the bubble wrap (initially very gently with no pressure being applied), followed by throwing and fulling of the piece.
The square I laid out measured 25 X 25 cm. At the conclusion of felting it measured 14 X 14cm. The amount it shrinks is determined by the amount of wool you lay and how closely you place the pine needles together (and how large are the corresponding holes in your piece). It is recommended that when trying out this technique you make a sample first so you can determine how closely you need to lay the pine needles to achieve the size and shape of the holes you want overall.
The second sample required the same preparation of pine needles but these were laid on top of soft fine silk fabric, not directly on bubble wrap. Again, the pine needles were separately dipped in soapy water before they were laid. After using the pine needles to make a border, the remaining pine needles were used to create patterns on the silk fabric within the border – spirals, curves, wavy and straight lines, circles – whatever takes your fancy. It’s like drawing in wool and our workshop group found it absolutely absorbing. Spacing between the lines created by pine needles joined end to end depends on the finished effect you want. The closer the pine needles are laid, the more the piece will shrink and the less the fabric will be visible. Again, scissors, a Japanese chopstick or a knitting needle are useful to shape the wool pine needles into the desired pattern. Rolling and finishing of this sample was as described above for the first sample.
We had an enjoyable day learning the pine needle technique together. Creating samples freed us from the pressure of trying to make and finish a larger piece in one day and we had time to relax a little more and concentrate on learning method. Leiko was a patient, well organized, generous and informative tutor and I’m really looking forward to seeing larger interpretations of her technique from our workshop participants at forthcoming Toss n Tell meetings. Leiko kindly left behind for us a copy of her beautiful book “Felt” which contains many inspiring images of her gorgeous work, and this copy you can now find in the FeltWest library.

September 2014 Toss n Tell by Vicki Hearne

September Toss n Tell by Vicki Hearne
Sue Swain: attended the "Jacket Making" workshop and showed us her three quarter length coat in natural coloured wool. The wool was laid onto cotton muslin in a diagonal fashion.

Lyn: also completed the jacket making course and completed a jacket and a hat too.

Soosie: showed a couple of large 3D felted cacti she created from felt. One was embellished with tiny beads and was "in flower" too! She used a sausage technique to make the stem.
Soosie experimented using shellac on her 3D fish.
Photo 20-09-2014 2 24 10 pm
Photo 20-09-2014 2 22 57 pm
Photo 20-09-2014 2 24 00 pm
Photo 20-09-2014 2 37 59 pm
Photo 20-09-2014 12 55 56 pm
Photo 20-09-2014 12 39 02 pm
Photo 20-09-2014 12 38 38 pm
Photo 20-09-2014 12 50 06 pm
Photo 20-09-2014 12 40 28 pm
Photo 20-09-2014 12 44 26 pm
New member Laura: presented her very first felt creation, a purple scarf incorporating swirls of wool.

Judith Shaw: pointed out her felt covered coat hanger which has multiple features. The "non slip" hanger has plenty of room to pin things to it and has a pouch to hold items.

Judith also had tips on how to use up scraps, and examples of this was a felted spectacle case decorated by freestyle stitching, plus, a tea cosie.

Vianne: explained her love of texture and showed this in her piece of blue crocheted yarn sandwiched between two layers of wool.
Photo 20-09-2014 2 28 43 pm
Photo 20-09-2014 12 43 44 pm
Photo 20-09-2014 12 41 44 pm
Photo 20-09-2014 2 31 11 pm
Photo 20-09-2014 2 32 33 pm
Photo 20-09-2014 2 34 56 pm
Photo 20-09-2014 12 38 21 pm
Photo 20-09-2014 12 47 29 pm
Photo 20-09-2014 12 41 59 pm
Photo 20-09-2014 2 40 03 pm
Photo 20-09-2014 2 37 05 pm
Sue Eslick: following Nancy's work shop, showed a string of blue felted balls on cord, embellished with red beads. She also made a felted rabbit, baby bottle holder and denim bag.

Kim and Katrina: used the skills they'd learned following Nancy's workshop and produced strings of woolen beads.
(Kim's, rust coloured).

Jill: after gathering materials from the "trash n treasure" bag Jill created this turquoise bag which is fully lined then embroidered.
Photo 20-09-2014 12 51 54 pm
Photo 20-09-2014 2 41 49 pm
Photo 20-09-2014 2 48 33 pm
Jeanette: used a cross weaving technique on the yolk of her pastel coloured felted dress. She explained that it gave additional strength to the garment. She experimented with other techniques too in order to prevent the blending of colours and also the joining of her seams.

Vera: needle felted picture.

Nancy: described how her reversible felted jacket is able to be buttoned up using a single set of buttons. She achieved this by attaching the buttons very close to the edge of the garment and passing them through loops on the other side as opposed to button holes.
Photo 20-09-2014 12 52 26 pm
Photo 20-09-2014 12 54 30 pm
Photo 20-09-2014 2 49 43 pm
Photo 20-09-2014 2 51 55 pm
Photo 20-09-2014 2 50 43 pm
Feel free to forward this eNews to any like minded people who might like the opportunity to meet felters, learn and share new skills and generally do all things felty.
If you are not a member of Feltwest you are missing out on amazing workshops from experienced local, interstate and international tutors, and heaps of event opportunities like exhibitions and markets. Sound good? Join here:

Email Marketing Powered by MailPoet